An Entrepreneur called Icarus – Wings of steel not wax!

5 12 2009

It’s been a while since I last wrote an entry on my blog and I apologise to all my readers, members and followers of my blog. Many of you have read my blog with interest over the last year or so and many of you have either come close to what I have experienced or have been directly affected by bankruptcy or administration of your businesses, while some of you have yet to embark of the wonderful journey of being an entrepreneur.

Either way we all dream of success and understand the challenges that we face in trying to make our dreams a reality. With 2.5 million people currently unemployed in this country and business failures at an all time high you sometimes wonder what our government is doing to bring positive change to aid the financial recovery of our great nation.

 Running the country is of course a business in itself and with the grips of recession starting to get behind us – are we really doing enough to support UK business owners and entrepreneurs, or can we do more?

We can criticise someone else’s decisions but it is only when we truly hold the wheel of the ship ourselves do we really understand what stormy seas can do to a man.

This is where a battle is either won or lost and strength is even grown or torn apart and relationships are either forged or ruined forever. It takes a greater strength than many could imagine or endure to navigate the perilous and unforgiving journey of running a business, especially if you have been or are building a business during a recession.

I name this entry on my blog “An Entrepreneur called Icarus” for a reason. We all know who Icarus was and of course his father Daedalus – Here is a recap:-

Icarus’ father, Daedalus, a talented and remarkable Athenian craftsman, attempted to escape from his exile in the place of Crete, where he and his son were imprisoned at the hands of King Minos, the king for whom he had built the Labyrinth to imprison the Minotaur (half man, half bull). Daedalus, the superior craftsman, was exiled because he gave Minos’ daughter, Ariadne, a clew of string in order to help Theseus, the enemy of Minos, survive the Labyrinth and defeat the Minotaur. Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Before they took off from the island, Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea.

 Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms. And so, Icarus fell into the sea in the area which bears his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos.

The morale of the story here is this – When you start your business ensure that you can get the best solicitor and accountant that you can and ensure beyond a doubt that you have formed your new company correctly and you have all the correct statutory documents filled because if you do not then surely you will melt your wings and fall into the sea.

In 2009 it is expected that the number of business that failed will have doubled on last years figures. Could any of these businesses have been saved or is the simple truth that many of the business owners made decisions which resulted in their demise?

Whatever your point of view I believe that information, knowledge and support holds the key to preserving so many businesses now and perhaps may have prevented some of the business failures we have seen in the past – But who can provide this information and should the source provider be government run or should it be conducted in the private sector?

It is true that entrepreneurs combined with their courage and risk taking as well as their innovation skills and abilities play a major part pushing countries out of recession. Entrepreneurs create jobs, jobs create wealth and wealth is what recovers any country from recession – well that’s what I think at least.

Well back to the story of Icarus and his burnt wings! Well of course that’s me.

I had a dream in 2007 that I was destined to create an information, knowledge and support facility to help entrepreneurs and business owners increase their chances of success, decrease business failures and even help reduce the UK’s all time high unemployment levels of 2.5 million people.

Now lets get this into perspective if were to get all the UK’s unemployed people and put them into Wembley Stadium then we would need to fill it and empty it nearly 30 times to speak to them all. Add to the pot the 10,000 people who went bankrupt in 2007 plus the astronomical figures for 2008 and 2009 for both insolvencies and business administration and you have nearly the same amount of people as the population of Wales, Astounding isn’t it!

So why is it that entrepreneurs who risk everything to try and help increase business success rates at a great cost to themselves personally are sometimes so misunderstood?

There is a massive gap between the government supporting businesses from startup through seed stage and indeed growth and development. Of course there are business incubators and there are courses and mentors and if you look hard enough you may secure funding, investments and grants for your businesses – but what if the entrepreneurs that start these businesses are doing so without a high enough level of commercial acumen and business experience that is required in order to survive and grow? Well you get what we have now….

When will it change, when will the government realise that actually in order to increase business success rates that it is indeed entrepreneurs that are needed to teach aspiring entrepreneurs!

Give me 100 unemployed people from the DWP who have spirit, desire and will work relentlessly to build their businesses. FROM THE GOVERMENT I ask you to offer them funding so that they can survive and support their families financially and as long as they are not quitters, I will make winners out of them and even if some of their businesses do not survive, the process they will have opened up so many doors that they will surely not need DWP support even again – They will be innovated, motivated and will go on to teach their learning’s.

I have made my mistakes and I am sure I will make plenty more to come, but I always get back up even when I feel that I can’t walk or take no more. If the government will not answer then how about a TV production company, are you up for it and would you like to talk to me – I believe it and I know that I could do it.

You see we are not looking at the wider picture and it is costing our country million of pounds and it’s this.





Dreams to Reality

Bradley Chapman Founder

Million Impossible
Raw Business Magazine
Entrepreneur School

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2 responses

16 12 2009
Alan Rogers

I am a relatively new member to the Million Impossible site but am excited about the potential of what you are creating here. Excited both for myself and anyone else who takes the time to participate and contribute to your valiant dream.

In the next decade we will undoubtedly see the birth of more entrepreneurs and small businesses than we have since the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the corporation, over 250 years ago.

Many will take their path through choice.

They see opportunities and possibilities where other people don’t, or they just know that they have to have control of their own destiny to be truly fulfilled in life. The world is changing faster than it ever has done before and it is probably the best time in history to earn a living outside of the corporate world.

But many will be a reluctant ‘entrepreneur’ – railroaded into self employment by redundancy, unemployment and lack of more ‘comfortable’ alternatives.

It is these people that I feel for.

These are the people that will really need the recognition, support and assistance that you rightfully point out in this post, is so far non-existent. If not will we surely see business failure rates go so high that success rates will be measured in fractions.

Of course some would argue that these people are not really entrepreneurs in the true sense of the word – it depends where you consider the self employed business owner crosses the line.

Like you Bradley, I can’t see any evidence that the government are seriously planning for this seismic shift in “income earning”, that many experts have been predicting for years.

That is why we have to support and help each other – it’s the right way and it’s the only way.


As a general note on the site, what sets it apart for me is your openness and very candid relevations about your successes and failures. I don’t believe that I have ever seen such an honest and ‘self-exposing’ article than ” Business Networking! – 18 Months in and it hurts!”

99.9% of business owners would not have had the humility and the effinity with their subscribers to write – “Cracks are appearing in the management team – Is this a sign of growth or could the business be failing?” … and then go on to list all the fears and anxieties that you were having at the time.

To me that shows how much passion you have for this project. You cannot fail if you keep that strong.

16 12 2009
Bradley Chapman

Hi Allan Thank you for your kind words… I would honestly love to share more abiout the mistakes ive made and perhaps my successes too. I believe that anyone can find the strength to reach out and try something new. Many do not for one reason alone….. They are scared of failiure and rejection!

Life has no boundaries except the ones that we should not breach – enjoy every minute and ride the highs and try to understand the lows.

Thank you for your support

Thx Brad

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